When we think of classical art, Greek statues with preternaturally perfect proportions are among the first works that come to mind. The colorful paint that once adorned them has long since worn off, leaving behind stark white figures that act as stoic sentries for a civilization that feels far removed from our current reality.
In terms of the timeline of human civilization, Classical Greece (which existed between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.E.) was a long time ago. In terms of Earth’s overall history, hardly a moment has passed. A new series from artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom bridges the gap between the ancient and the contemporary by mixing Greek statuary with the look of computer glitches.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art and the current artist in residence at the Scottish Ballet, the Glasgow-based sculpture and multimedia artist found a way to combine the hands-on practice of working with clay with a slew of digital tools. He says these new means of making art allow us to make anything we can imagine, “barring some inherent earthly restrictions like gravity.”
His use of them here adds an extra layer of fascination to the sculptures, which are still recognizable to the keen eye of an art fan or historian. The way in which the forms are warped almost makes it seem like they’re being sucked into another dimension.
Most of the silhouettes are exaggerated, pinched, pulled, stretched, and squiggled. Others are faceted, fragmented, or rendered as plotted pen drawings. Almost all of them are made of classical materials like white marble and bronze, though a few consist of less conventional media like borax crystals and sterling silver.
“I reference historical works quite frequently, but it is with the eye of a 21st-century translator,” Eastwood-Bloom tells ChromArt in an interview. “I think that what I make referring to these works is just another stop on the journey for the original pieces. ‘The Assimilation’ which is based on ‘The Laocoön and His Sons’ has been reproduced and translated numerous times throughout history — my interpretation is one more stop along its journey through time.”
“I find it fascinating how people think. I think through making sculpture; through three-dimensional form, material, shape, and surface. Other people think through numbers, words, sounds, movement, digital code, etcetera. I am interested in working with people who think via different modes to me. One thing that is interesting in the digital age is that a lot of people work using digital technology now. This means that their digital information can be changed into different mediums; words can become sound, sound can become form for example.”
During his time with the Scottish Ballet, Eastwood-Bloom has experimented with performance as well, with some of these pieces very much in keeping with the overall classical theme, like “The Three Graces.”
You can keep up with Zachary Eastwood-Bloom’s work at ZacharyEastwood-Bloom.com or on Instagram. He’s also a founding member of Studio Manifold, “a group of artists and designers brought together by a shared enjoyment of material and process based in East London.”